Nick Read will join Nisa as chief executive officer next month and will focus on driving the symbol group’s ambitious expansion plans.

He will join the convenience store group from travel agency Thomas Cook, where he was group customer service director.

Read has also previously worked as commercial operations director at Vodafone UK and as Tesco’s customer service director. He began his career in retail at Aldi and went on to become the discount grocer’s purchasing director.

Commenting on the appointment, Nisa chairman Christopher Baker said: “Nick’s mix of strategic and operational experience and his strong focus on the customer sets him apart. His skills and insight will be invaluable to our business as we develop as a retail organisation.”

The announcement brings to an end speculation that 18-year-old Harris Aslam would take on the role. Aslam is already on the company’s board and launched a bid for the position in September last year.

Nisa’s mutual model allows its hundreds of members to vote for the company directors. That enabled Aslam to win a place on the board after successfully lobbying Nisa’s grassroots members.

Outgoing chief executive Neil Turton is leaving Nisa after 23 years at the business to launch a shopper and retail insight firm.